MTN third quarter revenue up 11.4% despite challenging conditions, Newsline

JOHANNESBURG – Mobile telecommunications company MTN on Friday said its service revenue grew by 11.4 percent to more than R43 billion (US$2.6 billion) in the third quarter, despite the negative impact of the Covid-19 health crisis.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 13.9 percent and the group EBITDA margin widened by 1.4 percentage points to 43.3 percent.

The company’s strong set of financial results was supported by the performance of its larger operations in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, as well as good group-wide growth in subscriber numbers despite challenging trading conditions, MTN president and chief executive officer Ralph Mupita said.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact lives and livelihoods across our markets, the group has demonstrated strong operational execution and resilience,” he said.

MTN had focused its investment on network capacity and resilience and modernising its IT systems, spending R16 billion in the year to the end of the third quarter, said Mupita.

“We recorded solid growth in voice revenue of 3.9 percent, which reflects an encouraging recovery supported by the easing of lockdown restrictions,” he said.

Data revenue grew by 31.9 percent, bolstered by increased demand for work-from-home services, digital entertainment as well as online education offerings.

Fintech revenue was up 21 percent, while digital revenue rose 37.5 percent, propelled by the increased adoption and usage of digital offerings.

In the third quarter, MTN added 12 million subscribers to 273 million across 21 markets. Active data users were up 5.3 million to 107 million.

Despite the relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the operating environment remained challenging and uncertain.

“We will continue to build on our operational and financial resilience. We have now increased our full year forecast for capital expenditure to R26 billion, to ensure that our networks provide reliable connectivity and digital services to all of our 273 million-and-growing subscriber base,” Mupita said.

– African News Agency (ANA)